May 1, 1999
OXFORD, Ohio -- The Western Michigan University men's tennis team won its first Mid-American Conference championship in 18 years with a 4-2 win over Ball State on Saturday, May 1, at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
With the conference championship, WMU advances to the NCAA Tournament, May 14-16, at a site yet to be determined. The 1999 NCAA finals will be held at the University of Georgia in Athens.
The Broncos avenged their 4-1 loss to Ball State in last year's MAC title match. The WMU men's tennis team last won the MAC title in 1981.
WMU defeated host Miami University 4-2 on Friday, April 30, in the conference semifinals to advance to the title match. The Broncos avenged their 4-3 loss at Miami, April 10, during the regular season.
"This feels fantastic," Bronco head coach Dave Morin said. "I don't think that it's even set in yet. The guys played great today."
In the championship match versus Ball State, Ryan Tomlinson and Steve Pillon defeated Juan Fernandez and Rafael Domenech 8-6 at No. 1 doubles. The 1999 MAC Player of the Year, Mohamed Dakki, and Jeff Brink beat Andrew Seni and Nick Vizzone at No. 2 to stake WMU to a 1-0 lead over the Cardinals.
"That was a big win for us at No. 1 doubles," Morin said. "We came in here knowing we had as good a shot as anyone."
Sophomore Fernando Garcia won his third singles match of the tournament with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Ryan Baxter at No. 2. Garcia's victory had given the Broncos a 3-2 lead in the match after Kyle Gernhofer posted a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Vizzone at No. 5. Brink notched the match-winning point with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory at No. 6.
Dakki lead Fernandez 7-6, 4-4 at No. 1. Tomlinson fell 6-3, 6-0 to Seni at No. 2 and Pillon was defeated 6-4, 6-4 at No. 4.
Media contact: Geoff Brown, 616 387-4123; firstname.lastname@example.org
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